First, Second & Third Things: Totemic Updates!

Jul 28

First Things First! Two more Totems have been added to the Menagerie! They belong to Gordon Remey and ShivaMonster, and I had a lot of exploring both sites (stage magic and Shiva Nata.. does it get any better?) Click on the images below to see all 5 that have been completed.

Harrot = Hare + Carrot

(the three previous totems belong to Christy Bower, Taryn Blake and RainbowSpiritGoddess.  How cool are they?)

Second Things Second: The first-round of Totems are, sadly, sold out while I dig myself out from under 20+ orders in 36 hours.  That 20 sold didn’t surprise me, but the timing? Yeah. That seriously surprised me. I had to close the offer way early, for fear that I’d be making people wait months for delivery!

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Weekend Ketchup: #2 of 57 Varieties

Jul 17

image The Ketchups are my newly revived, maybe-weekly ritual, a fret-free way to assure that I post once a week, even if it’s not pure awesome-sauce. If you’d like to play along, just add your ketchup (or a link to it) in the condiment section below.  And yes, this is loosely based on Havi’s Friday Chickens, except it’s Ketchup.  And yes, she’s fine with it. (She even linked to my very first ketchup experiment in 2009. Which only went for one week. So I’ve already surpassed myself… yay!)

So. This Week? Realizations?
Don’t remember them.

I know I had some, but they’ve vanished, so I think I’ll just whine, for a moment.  Wine may not be an ingredient in your ketchup recipe, but it’s in mine, because I said so.

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Weekend Ketchup! (Cuz Everything’s better With Condiments)

Jul 10

Totem Pole from British ColumbiaOk, yes, I’ve been pretty much AWOL for the past…

…erm..  it’s been a whole month.  I’ve been busy with a project that I was *sure* would be ready to go “any day now”, so I kept putting off posting until it was ready.  Now? It’s actually, really almost ready! Yay! Seriously ready! YAY!

Curious about what it is? The image over on the right will give you a hint. But meanwhile, a lot of stuff happened, stuff I didn’t tell you about because I was busy being “almost ready”.   So I’m taking the opportunity to Ketchup.  I’d love it if this wound up my version of Havi’s Chickens (a weekly public check-in she and her readers do) but I’m flakier than Havi, so we’ll have to wait and see if I repeat it.

Meanwhile, here’s the ketchup from the last month or so! (Don’t worry, it’s not past the ‘best by’ date)

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Update x5: Live-Blogging Past The Fear: Ze Plan! Ze Plan!

May 24


Ok, so here’s the deal.

There’s this fun, little seriously no-big-deal  offering/thing/whatever that I want to do here on the Circus. But I’ve been stuck in fears about feeling overwhelmed by it, and not being able to follow through.

One way to lessen that concern? Plan ahead, with clear action steps, and do as much of the work as possible ahead of time.

Trouble is – I’m not a big planner.  I don’t like the process of planning, and I don’t much like plans – they feel limiting to me, rather than supportive.  I’m more about the  spontaneous, go-with-the-whims sort of productivity.

So I’m experimenting with spontaneous, go-with-the-whims planning tonight.  I’m going to live blog throughout the evening, as I put together the experimental structure to support this.. thing.. I want to do.  (And if you pay attention, you’ll have a good idea of what the thing is, and why I think it’ll be so much fun)

First Step?

Get prepared. Get the spouse situated with something to eat so he doesn’t distract me.  Get myself something to snack on too. Awesome.  I’ll be back!

Update 1

Ok, here we go. Step one of the actual planning? Divide what needs to be done in sections.

The mini fun thing.

  • Promotional Material
  • Deliverable Development
  • Actual Deliverables
  • The Schedule
  • Follow ups

The not-as-mini still fun thing

  • The offering
  • The actual deliverables
  • Follow ups

Hmm, that works for me so far.

Gotta go check on the chicken I put in the oven!


Now, hmm… Let’s take apart the Promo Material stuff.  (This little project is basically a promotional thing itself, btw, so I need to resist the urge to overdo it)

This won’t be quite in the right order, but that’s ok.

1. Promo Materials

  • An introductory, explanatory, coming soon post
  • The actual offer goes-live
  • A sales page or post with the actual offer
  • Re-tweetable tweets (since I tend to use all 140 characters)
  • A follow up post
  • Illustrations for all of the above.

That worked! Next step..

2. Deliverable Development

  • Selecting potential members of the menagerie
  • Decide how to do the pairing up with the Quirksters
  • Finding photos/drawings of menagerie members as references
  • Basic template
  • Individual drawings
  • Digitizing the drawings
  • Coloring the drawings
  • Assembling the drawing into The Cool Thing.
  • Storing the actual drawings somewhere safe
  • Storing the files somewhere safe, too.

3. Actual Deliverables

  • The individual graphics
  • The accompanying text
  • An email template for sending them
  • The full monty menagerie art & page
  • Prints/Zazzle stuff available? Gauge the interest.

This is still fun. Who knew that I plan better with an audience?

Gotta go see if the chicken is cooled off now. (making chicken salad, too)

Mini Update 2.5:

Storms just got threatening here, so I’m going to focus on staying safe for a bit. Will continue later, assuming I don’t lose power!

Mini Update 2.5.5:

All safe, and all clear…  but the scary weather wore me out!  So that’s it for tonight. More planning tomorrow!


Ok, so..  I’m back!

My best live-blogging intentions were interrupted first by nasty tornado & hailstorms, then the need for sleep.  But we survived, and so it’s back to planning. Let’s see if i can get my groove back…

Where was I? Oh yeah! The Schedule! I’m going to skip dates and times for now, and just focus on the order in which this stuff goes public:

4. The Schedule Order:

  • Day 1: Preliminary coming soon post & Tweets
  • Day 2: Offer/Sales page, Promotional Post, Tweets
  • Day 3: The Display Page of the Fun Thing as it’s built & Tweets
  • Day 5: Follow up Post & Tweets
  • Day 6: Follow up emails  for the participants 😉
  • Day 7: Announcement of the ongoing related offer thing
  • Day 9: Fine Tune final offer sales page thingy
  • From then on: Slowly deliver on the full offering thing.

This is a lot more complicated than expected, and in some ways, I know I’m overdoing it.  I may simplify this as I work through it, but..  this is actually more complicated than I thought.  No wonder I couldn’t just “throw it together” and I had concerns about being able to keep up…  to do it right, it’s a week of publishing, which means a lot of prep work!

Cleary, I tend to underestimate the complexity of stuff.

I’ve also gotten some cool inspirations & clarifications on the idea while planning.


The next section I listed was “Follow ups”, but maybe it should be entitled “Follow throughs”? This is the bit I’m afraid I won’t do, which “isn’t how you run a business”.   I can feel the tension and fear and gremlins-in-the-belly feeling that’s triggered just by typing around it’s edges.

Deep breaths.

So, the first “follow through” is not just getting the offer up, but standing behind it, and staying enthused about it. As enthused as I would be about someone else’s product, when I’d personally found it solved huge problems for me, and I was 110% behind it. (Yes, I know. Impossible percentage. It’s hyperbole, so hush!)

(Which, btw, brings me to what I want for my readers fans and peers… I want you and your things to be at such a place of incredibleness *for me personally* that I’ll be behind them 170%, and can’t keep my mouth shut about them. Ok, back to planning.)


  1. Present with a flourish!
    Get the offer up.
    Stand behind it confidently and with enthusiasm.
    Check. Got it.
  2. Produce miracles from your magic hat!
    Produce the mini-digital-deliverable thingies confidently, with happyhappyjoyjoy absurdity.  In a timely manner, but without freaking or killing yourself.   Circus fans don’t want a neurotic ghost for a ring-mistress.  I don’t need to do a poll to be pretty sure of that.
  3. Put the community front and center!
    Put together the public thingamabobber display page to feature the community members and the wack-ed-ness of it all.  This is the point, remember? Community.  Sharable. Fun.  Stay open to fun extras to add to the display page. Spend extra time on polishing it.
  4. Individual thank yous for participants.
    Fun ones. Please. Thank you. You’re welcome. And yes, if I’d create a damn mailing list, that’d help 😉
  5. Present the full offer, with flourishes, pride and enthusiasm. My people deserve that. This is a fun thing, and if I’m all selfconscious about it, it takes the fun out. If people feel like they have to prop up my confidence, that takes the pure fun out of it.
  6. Repeat. Lather. Rinse!

And another note:

Remember to put a link to the thing in the sidebar, post footers (RSS too!) and change the top menu to allow for a shop.

There. That wasn’t so hard. I only hyperventilated six times 😉

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The last section is about the not-so-mini offering – and honestly? It’s optional.  Sure, if I did things “right”, the whole point of this would be to promote and sell the bigger, more expensive thing.

But honestly, I’m not ready to face that yet.  So on that bit, I think I’ll play it by ear. See how I feel.

The plan?  Write up no more than a simple paragraph, with the price and a description.  Stick it on the offering page. See how it goes.  Put it at a big enough discount that if I stumble, it’ll be ok.  Really.

The mini, super fun version should give me a good idea of what will be doable for a “real” version, and what it’s benefit will be.

In other words, don’t fret about it yet.  But make it possible for people who are interested to sign up.

The Next Step?

The doing.  Not sure yet if I’ll live-blog that, or not.  I need a break before I decide, but I’d like to at least give some sneak peaks into it!

As for how I’m going to accomplish the doing, well…. not in any sort of order, that’s for sure!  I’ll probably start with the “Deliverable Development” section, break it into clearer action steps, and do them one at a time, since that’s where the actual fear is centered…

For now, I need a serious break away from this computer and all the plannings.  Even so, I think you can expect more soon, Quirkiteers!It's Another Flourish!

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Of Woo, Fear-Facing, & Action Plans: Live Blogging Session, coming Soon!

May 24

A Whole Lotta Nothing Remember About a Week Ago?

You know, when I wrote about Woo, and I promised to move past my fear of it, and do this really cool thing I wanted to do here?

Remember how I told you to watch the blog carefully for a few days, because there was a time element involved? And remember how NOTHING HAPPENED?

Now, Fast Forward to Today..

As you know (or don’t know, because I always forget to promote it), every Monday, I host a chat on Twitter, via the hashtag #Emmit. And each week, a marvelous group of Quirkipreneurs gather to discuss right-brained, boundary-expanding approaches to typical business tasks and topics. (It’s turned out to be a mind-blowingly effective testing ground for new stuff. You should check it out. But not now, because it won’t happen again till next Monday.)

Yesterday’s chat? Yeah. It was one of the mind-blowing ones for me. See, I forgot about it until the last minute, so I had to pick a topic on the fly.

“Fear…” I thought. “There’s been some talk going on about fear and business lately… ok, let’s talk about that. Whew, topic found!”

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Who’s Afraid Of A Little Woo?

May 12

Woo-WOooooOOO says the ghost!

Me, That’s Who.

Apparently, anyway.

I’m talking, of course, about the infamous “woo-woo”, a phrase used to mean spooky, spiritualist, crystal-laden irrational beliefs not based in science or reality. It’s generally used in a dismissive or self-conscious way, and I associate it with the spiritualist fraud séances of yester-year – you know, sheet covered ghosts that say woooo, WOOOOO!

“Woo” came up recently on Twitter, where the lovely Bridget Pilloud and Abby Kerr were discussing why we view it in a derogatory way, and if it can be rebranded, so to speak. They got me thinking (as both of them often do) and I realized I’ve been shying away from spiritual topics here on The Circus.

Turns out, I’m mind-numbingly, progress-stuckingly petrified of being perceived as “woo-woo”.

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When it’s Been Too Long Since Your Last Post…

Apr 13

And you just can’t seem to get past the blogging doldrums because you really, REALLY want to save your writing and illustrating energy for your Upcoming Project?  The project you’re actually getting somewhere on, and have a hope of releasing sometime this decade? Yes, THAT one! The AWESOME project that you can nearly see the end of?

What do you do?

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Emmit Gets A Blog!

Apr 01

Up, Up and Away!It’s April 1st…

… and true to form, Emmit is out and about making a fool of himself! His new website, EmmitBuildsABusiness is now live, if somewhat.. unfinished. (Yeah.  Remember that issue with me and deadlines? Still not good with juggling them.)

But since “the show must go on!” I’ve turned the incompleteness into a feature! That’s right, our very first blog post series will be Emmit Builds A Blog, and you’ll get to follow along as I track down bugs, add some polish, write the opening content and tie up the loose ends.

So drop on by, say hello, grab a ringside seat and a bag of popcorn; Emmit will be up to his usual shenanigans very soon!

Love and Circus Balloons,
Tori Deaux & Emmit

P.S.  Yes,  the main focus will still be here on The Circus.  Yes, Emmit will still drop by here from time to time.  But Mr.Clownnose was threatening to take things over around here, and we just couldn’t have that!

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Emmit’s New Place Holder WebPage!

Mar 07

This is quick and simple….

Emmit has Big Plans!

You’ll be able to keep up with him here:

There will be more images of other #Emmit inspired plans later today, and the Facebook link will be working soon, too – promise!

Also!  An interview with Jennifer Lee of Right Brained Business Plans will be posted tomorrow.
How cool is that?

And several people from the Right Brainers In Business summit have asked about my love letter to my customers…. here it is! A Love Letter To My Right People

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Beta Test Your Life

Feb 22

While monkeying around on Twitter the other day, I mentioned one of my methods for coping with perfectionism. The idea struck a chord with several people, so I dug up an old post on the topic. And yes, this idea is still in beta, too!

Beta Test Your Life

Oh-Fish-Ol Beta Tester!

Originally posted on MindTweaks,
MARCH 2, 2007

A few days ago, an acquaintance was telling me about his latest artistic endeavor: a taxidermy fish kit. He asked if he could give me one of the kits, to try, let him know if his instructions were good enough.

“YAY!” I exclaimed, “I get to beta test a fish!”

Ignoring the disturbing reality that I actually know people who create build-your-own-fish-kits, it was all very exciting, even though I had to explain what a beta tester is.

I’m not entirely sure he understood, but he figured that sounded pretty good anyway, and I began plotting how to best display my new-found, ever-so-official title, “Beta Tester for Aquatic Life, Stuffed And Mounted Division.”

That’s when Synchronicity struck, in her guise as the LifeHacker Archives.

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